The Nation: Doublespeaking

Telling it like it isn 't

Out of the mouths of bureaucrats, language is too often used to obfuscate rather than communicate. But not with impunity. For the past six years, the National Council of Teachers of English Committee on Public Doublespeak has presented a "dishonorable mention" to a particularly offensive official utterance. Last week the committee singled out the Pentagon for terming the neutron bomb, which kills every living creature within its reach but leaves physical structures unharmed, "a radiation enhancement weapon." The Defense Department did not send a representative to accept the award, but it did designate Army Colonel Jack...

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